How map-master Max Gill became the saviour of the London Underground | Art and design | The Guardian

stripey serpent writhes up from the middle of Hyde Park, flicking its tongue towards fleeing crowds, as an exotic bird gobbles up a small child in London Zoo, poking its sharp beak through the cage. A hot-air balloon floats over Kennington, and a plane loops-the-loop above Kilburn, while the rest of the city busies itself below with an air of medieval festivity. As Europe was about to tear itself to shreds in 1914, this is how the London Underground chose to depict the city, with lavish “Wonderground” maps hung in every station. Packed with little jokes and mischievous details, it was a clear bid to cheer up commuters and distract them from the over-crowded, filthy carriages into which they were about to be squeezed.

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